AOL Roundup (Week of May 2)

I’m back in NYC after a few days away. Have several posts in the can ready to go, but figured I’d start with a quick and easy one tonight. Stay tuned, though, lots of interesting stuff is coming.

AOL has a ton of free streams worth listening to this week, including the new Pearl Jam disc, which, as I’ve said, is excellent, and Neil Young’s new off-the-cuff protest album. Also, be sure to check out Wolfmother, so you can be at the cutting edge of the derivative garbage the majors are shilling these days.

Pearl Jam, Pearl Jam
Neil Young, Living With War
Wolfmother, Wolfmother
Thursday, A City By the Light Divided
Gomez, How We Operate
The Charlatans, Simpatico
Ministry, Rio Grande Blood
World Party, Dumbing Up
Brandtson, Hello, Control
None More Black, This is Satire

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Sunday 30 April 2006 at 9:29 pm

Wussy @ Northside Tavern, Cincinnati, OH [4/28/06]

So it seems like I picked the right time to cut out of New York. Not too much in the way of news the past couple of days, unless you consider Wilco not playing Siren Fest to be news. Personally, I consider it a blessing. It makes it significantly less likely that I’ll feel compelled to go sit out under the 90 degree sun in the overcrowded concrete playpen that is Siren Fest. And no 2 hour ride on the F train. Phew. Thank you Jeff.

Plus, I also timed my trip to Cincinnati so I could finally check out Wussy in concert. The band’s stellar debut album, Funeral Dress [BUY], came out last fall, but, for various reasons, the band hasn’t done a whole lot of touring in support of the album. When I saw that they were doing a hometown set last night, I figured it might be my only chance to see them for a while.

Interesting show. They played at a bar called the Northside Tavern, which, although it hosts live music most nights of the week, really is not particularly suited to hosting bands — at least not in its current configuration. As you may be able to see in the photos below, the band setup is at the very front of the bar, right next to the bar’s lone entrance. The bar takes up one half of the room, and the other half is filled with tables and chairs. That leaves about a 3 foot wide area to stand, which is constantly being filled with people (a) entering the bar, (b) leaving the bar, and (c) getting a drink at the bar. So, it doesn’t leave a whole lot of room to stand and watch a band. I managed to find myself a safe spot at the back of the main room, on a small step so that I had a slightly better view of the band. Oh, and they have $2.50 beers, so that was good.

As for the band, it’s pretty obvious that they haven’t done a whole lot of touring recently. When they were on, they sounded great. But they’re an easily distracted lot, talking with friends in the crowd, joking with one another, and while one song might be great, the next might devolve into a bit of a mess. That said, the messier songs were the newer ones which they still seem to be working out. The stuff from Funeral Dress, like

“Motorcycle” and
“Airborne”

sounded great. And the new songs, while a bit sloppy at times, sound like they’re going to be great on album. A guy I was talking to in the crowd said that the band is either already recording their second album or about to. Awesome.

If you haven’t checked them out before, be sure to try the links, and if you like what you hear, pick up the album. Onto the pics:



Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Saturday 29 April 2006 at 11:40 am

I Am Ohio Bound

So I’m leaving tomorrow for a long weekend to visit the family in Cincinnati. While I’m there, I’m gonna see Wussy at Northside Tavern. Amazingly, they do have broadband internet access in Ohio (running water too!), so I’ll do my dangedest to keep up to date with the blog. At minimum I’ll try to bring you some pics from the Wussy show..

Until then, I figured I’d leave you with some of the songs that have been getting a lot of play on my iPod lately. Odds are I’ll be listening to these as I deal with the usual Laguardia delays tomorrow. Enjoy.

Birdmonster, “Cause You Can”
Glen Hansard, “Lies”
Jon Auer, “My Sweet Unknown”
Maritime, “Tearing Up The Oxygen”
Minus 5, “Cemetary Row”
Robert Pollard, “I Surround You Naked”

and one that someone else posted:

Islands, “Rough Gem” (via Can You See the Sunset From the South Side?)

Also, be sure to go check out the new band Hot One. Hot One features Nathan Larson from Shudder to Think, Kevin March from the Dambuilders and Guided By Voices, Jordan Kern from Escalate, and Emm Gryner from Canada. They’ve got a very odd theme/motif going for the band, but I quite like the songs on their MySpace site. Definitely has shades of late-era Shudder to Think, although obviously without Craig’s vocals. (Link found via Chromewaves.)

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Wednesday 26 April 2006 at 8:29 pm

Lemonheads Reform, Sign to Vagrant

In not-so-surprising news, The Lemonheads have reformed, and will be releasing an album on Vagrant Records.

I say not-so-surprising because it wasn’t 20 minutes ago that I was on Ticketweb and noticed that Evan Dando’s solo show at Southpaw next week still hasn’t sold out. Considering that the Lemonheads show at Bowery sold out last year, and considering how good that show actually was, the thought occurred to me that, gee, maybe Evan should just officially re-form the band. Guess Evan had the same idea. Hope he also had the idea to not re-grow that hair.

From WOXY.com:

(April 26, 2006) – Vagrant Records is proud to announce that THE LEMONHEADS have signed to the label. The recently re-formed band is currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on what will be their eighth studio album in a career that spans over two decades.

Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Evan Dando is co-producing the album with drummer Bill Stevenson (Descendents, Black Flag), and the band is rounded out with bass player Karl Alvarez (Descendents). NYC-based Dando self-funded the project and has been recording in Stevenson’s Colorado studio off and on during the last year.

“The thing I remember most about Vagrant’s first year is being locked up in my apartment, drinking coffee, stuffing 7″’s into envelopes and listening to It’s A Shame About Ray on cassette all day, every day. If it wasn’t for that record, we probably would’ve left the apartment eventually and given up the label. Nobody writes songs like Evan Dando, nobody sings likes him…the new songs are incredible. He is in top form.” — Rich Egan, Vagrant Records President

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Wednesday 26 April 2006 at 8:19 am

Prince @ First Avenue, Minneapolis [3/8/82]

Before I get to this show, I wanted to add one quick comment to my Clash post. One of you out there, who will remain nameless, but who I’m tickled pink has read my humble little blog, pointed out to me that the band’s show at the Lochem Festival was the last show for drummer Topper Headon. And apparently he was completely fucked up on heroin for the show, though you wouldn’t know it to listen to his playing. Very interesting stuff..

As for this show, I can’t say I know much about it, or even about Prince. He’s one of those guys that I’ve just never taken the time to get into. Can’t really explain it. I don’t own a single album of his, and really only know his hits from the Purple Rain era. So when I saw this on Dime a Dozen, I knew I’d have to check it out. While the quality isn’t great, it’s good enough to tell me that I need to hear more. Take a listen for yourself. The show also features the greatest band in the world, Morris Day and The Time, and Sue Ann Carwell. Enjoy:

“Bambi”
“All the Critics Love U in New York”
“When U were Mine”
“Sexy Dancer”
“Still Waiting”
“Head”
“Sexuality”
“Dance to the Beat”
“The Stick”
“Partyup”

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Tuesday 25 April 2006 at 11:00 pm

News and Notes

Slow news day on the music front. Unless you consider The Red Hot Chili Peppers playing Irving Plaza big news. There’s no tickets, just a bunch of “lucky winners” who listen to Z100, Power 105 and Q104. I guess the Peppers weren’t enthused by the turnout at that MySpace show that Franz Ferdinand did last week.

Legit News:

As previously noted around town, Central Park’s Summerstage is hosting The New Pornographers, Calexico and The Frames on August 3rd (Thursday). Tickets on sale this Saturday at noon. (Via Brooklyn Vegan.)

Los Angeles’ Silversun Pickups have announced that their debut full length LP, Carnavas, will be released on July 11th via Dangerbird Records. (Via Filter Magazine.) I loved their Pikul ep from last year [BUY], and can’t wait to hear this one.

Plexifilm is releasing the DVD for We Jam Econo – The Story of the Minutemen on June 27th. It’s a 2-disc set with over 5 hours of material. Looking forward to seeing it — it’s supposed to be great. Pre-order it.

And, for the New Yorkers in the house, is the Second Avenue subway finally going to be built? I think Hell just froze over. Or Rumsfeld just got fired. Same thing either way. (Via Curbed.)

Legit Tunes

The Twilight Singers have added a couple more songs from their forthcoming Powder Burns album on their MySpace site. Also, for those of you so inclined, the LP is available NOW on iTunes, even though it doesn’t come out on CD until mid-May. I still like owning the actual CD, so I’m gonna hold off (plus I pre-ordered it). I like what I’m hearing so far though.

The Rawking Refuses To Stop has a live Mark Kozelek show from 2000. Good stuff. Go listen.

Kwaya Na Kisser has a ton of great Jeff Buckley rarities up here. Buckley may be the only non-rapper to be more productive in death than in life. I can imagine him sitting on a beach in the Caribbean with Biggie and Tupac sippin’ pina coladas and rollin’ fat joints. Boat drinks, baby.

And, finally, if you’re looking for some cool music and have some time to kill, head over to Chromewaves and check out their archive of previous “Songs of the Week.” Lots of great stuff in there.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Tuesday 25 April 2006 at 2:30 pm

Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova Live On Irish Radio

Today at 5pm EST (10pm in Dublin), Ireland’s RTE 2FM will be airing an in-studio acoustic performance by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. They’ll be playing songs from Glen’s new record, The Swell Season. Direct your browser here to check it out. You’ll need RealPlayer to listen.

The session was actually recorded yesterday, which is why you’re looking at a picture of the actual recording. Photo is from Rick O’Shea’s (a DJ at RTE 2FM) blog.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Tuesday 25 April 2006 at 9:32 am

When Libertines Attack

Dumb title, sorry, I’m tired. But the point is that today saw the release of more Libertines material than you ever knew you wanted to hear. And probably more than you actually did want to hear. As NME reports it, someone seems to have leaked the contents of Pete Doherty’s laptop onto the internet, including countless Libertines demos, live tracks and unreleased songs. And by countless I mean 123. If you absolutely must, get yourself to this site and download all 123. Personally, as much as I consider myself a fan, it just ain’t happening.

Also on the rarities tip, The Rich Girls Are Weeping has posted three very cool Wrens rarities. Go listen.

If you’re looking for something new, I Rock Cleveland spotlights a new band called The Sky Drops who are the fourth or fifth band that I’ve heard this year that might be the new My Bloody Valentine. But that’s a good thing. Listening to these songs makes me feel like I’m back in South Quad hittin’ the bong. Check it out:

“Green to Red”
“Now Would Be”

In book news — I refuse to call it literature — Productshop tells us to expect a new Chuck Klosterman book in August entitled Chuck Klosterman IV : A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas. Don’t get me wrong, Chuck is great. I loved Killing Yourself to Live, despite its flaws, because it was damn funny. And I related way too much to Fargo Rock City. So I’ll definitely be reading this one. But I’ll also admit that Chuck is about as close as you get to a male equivalent of chick lit. If you’re the type that plans out what you’re going to read 4 months ahead of time — freak — you can pre-order it here. Here’s hoping it’s funnier than his attempt at an April Fools joke.

And, finally, though pretty much everyone else that matters has already mentioned it, be sure to go check out Videoteque. It’s a video MP3 blog, posting all kinds of videos in all kinds of formats, including the iPod Video-compatible MP4. Good stuff.

PS: Thanks to the awesome Gothamist for the picture of Roy and his tiger friend.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 24 April 2006 at 7:58 pm

I Hope Someone Puts a Cap in Artie Bucco’s Ass

It only took 10 years, but I think I’ve officially become a full-fledged jaded New Yorker. Why? Because I literally could not stop laughing last night when Christopher punched Lauren Bacall in the face on The Sopranos. I guess if you live in New York long enough, the idea of beating up little old ladies stops being disgusting and becomes a source of amusement. God bless this place.

And in other news:

Each Note Secure links to a new Colin Meloy song called “Lazy Little Ada”. The song is off the new Kill Rock Stars compilation, Sound the Hare Heard, which also includes cuts from Devin Davis, Jeff Hanson, and Great Lake Swimmers.

Captain’s Dead has a great live show from Cincinnati’s own Afghan Whigs from Boston in 1994. Go check it out. The (Afghan) Whigs remain one of my favorite bands of all time. And while I luckily got to see them live three times, this is the first show of theirs that I have in my collection.

I had no idea, but there’s a smorgasbord of cool live Posies songs, demos and videos to be found over at their web site. There’s even a video for the song “Anything and Everything” from Every Kind of Light . I had no idea this existed. Very cool. (Thanks to Large Hearted Boy for the head’s up!)

Ryspace is my kind of music dork. He’s apparently doing a term paper comparing the acoustics of New York’s Mercury Lounge, Bowery Ballroom and Webster Hall. While Part One is a basic introduction, Part Two (and beyond?) promises to learn my ass as to the scientific explanation for why Webster Hall blows. I can only assume that, somewhere in his calculations, he’s assigned a value for the fact that a bottle of Bud Lite costs $7.

I Rock Cleveland points the direction to a World Cafe set that the Flaming Lips did for NPR in which, among other things, Wayne explains the origins of the band’s cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

And I’ll leave you with a couple interesting things floating around the web:

Okay Paddy, “Where’s the Taste” (via Two and 1/2 Pounds of Bacon). Decent power pop. Very Smithereens-ish, if anyone remembers them.

Think About Life, “Paul Cries” (via You Ain’t No Picasso). Another Canadian band that sounds like Wolf Parade. Just what the world needs.

Director, a new (?) Dublin-based band with a few interesting songs. Worth listening to, though I don’t plan on buying anything from them based on what I’m hearing (via Torr).

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 24 April 2006 at 11:38 am

Part II: The Clash @ Lochem Festival, Holland [5/20/82]

Here’s the rest of the Clash show from Holland. I forgot to mention this in the first post — for the completists out there, I’ve seen this show listed as “Into the 80’s.” I’m not sure what this means. It could just be that this is from a bootleg CD, and that that’s what the CD was marketed as. Dunno. Anyway, enjoy.

“Should I Stay or Should I Go?”
“Police and Thieves”
“Brand New Cadillac”
“Bank Robber”
“Complete Control”
“Career Opportunities”
“Clampdown”

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 24 April 2006 at 10:25 am

AOL Roundup (Week of April 24)

AOL still hasn’t been sold, spun off, or simply shut down for lack of paying customers yet, so that means you get a whole new week of free streaming albums. This week’s offerings include:

Bruce Springsteen, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions
The Streets, Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living
Mark Knopfler and Emmylu Harris, All the Roadrunning
Secret Marchine, Ten Silver Drops
Lewis Black, The Carnegie Hall Performance
Erasure, Union Street
The Terms, Small Town Computer Crash
Riverboat Gamblers, To the Confusion of Our Enemies

All in all, a pretty good week for the bastard child of Time Warner.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Sunday 23 April 2006 at 9:00 pm

The Clash @ Lochem Festival, Holland [5/20/82]

I first got into The Clash completely by accident on February 11, 1990. How do I remember the date? Well, a bunch of us were staying over at a friend’s house, doing all the things that 14-year old boys in suburban Cincinnati do — trying to steal beer from the basement refrigerator, even though none of us liked it; making prank phone calls; watching Steven Seagal movies and talking about how cool it would be to make our own Molotov cocktails (a feat I’m proud to say our stupid asses actually accomplished not long after); and listening to music as loud as possible. And we were also desperately trying to find out who won the Mike Tyson-Buster Douglas fight. Needless to say, we were pretty surprised when we found out.

Anyway, one of the tapes that someone put in that night was The Clash. I knew who The Clash were — anyone with MTV in the 80’s had seen “Rock the Casbah” — but I’d never gone beyond that song. I was quite content to spend most of the 80’s listening to the likes of, ahem, Poison, Whitesnake, Ratt, and the like. Yeah, teenage Steve was quite the white trash. All I was missing was the mullet.

Long story short, I fell in love with the band, and I’ve never stopped loving them. I’m sure this isn’t particularly interesting to any of you, but until I downloaded the show I’m attaching here, I had completely forgotten about that night. And about my friend’s somewhat-challenged cousin who liked to tell everyone that they “looked like Robocop.” God I miss being young.

So without further ado, check out part 1 of The Clash at the Lochem Festival in Holland, May 20, 1982. I was probably at home watching this show that night.

“London Calling”
“Safe European Home”
“Guns of Brixton”
“Train in Vain”
“Clash City Rockers”
“Know Your Rights”
“The Magnificent Seven”
“Ghetto Defendant”

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Sunday 23 April 2006 at 3:29 pm

I Am The Decider

… and I’ve chosen to stay home and take it easy tonight after seeing 6 concerts in the space of 8 days. Luckily for you, though, I’m not too tired to blog, and I’m here to tell you about a nice little discovery I made tonight.

As you know by now, I love The Frames. I first discovered them at an amazing CMJ Festival show at Irving Plaza on November 1, 2002 (that’s the internet talking, kids, not my memory). That show was headlined by Idlewild, and included another great opener I’d never heard before, Brendan Benson. I fell in love with the band right away, and immediately searched out all of their albums.

I soon discovered that The Frames weren’t some new band trying to make a name for themselves. To the contrary, they were a very old band trying to make a name for themselves. By the time I found them, The Frames had been a band, in one form or another, for more than a decade. And while the bulk of their recorded output had been released after 1996, there was one very early album called Another Love Song that had been released way back in 1991. And I couldn’t find it anywhere. I looked everywhere I could think of — Amazon UK, Road Records in Dublin, etc. — with no luck. I figured it was out of print and just gave up.

Then, about a year or so ago, I discovered that the band had put the album up for download on their website. I downloaded it right away. Unfortunately, I was in Japan at the time for a 4-month work project, and when we weren’t working, we were generally drinking. A $130/day food and drink stipend goes pretty far to helping you achieve a permanent buzz, and to help you forget just about anything that wasn’t in a Suntory Malts can (best beer in Japan). So I ended up completely forgetting about the album. And then my hard drive died. When I finally went back to The Frames’ website to download it again, I couldn’t find it anywhere. So, again, I gave up on ever hearing it.

This is all a very long-winded way of saying that I discovered tonight that the band has re-posted Another Love Song on their website. Go download it. I’m listening to it for the first time ever right now. It’s definitely The Frames, but it’s much, much rawer, and the production is very 1991. And there’s strong, strong Madchester undertones. But it’s also very good, and at times it’s excellent. Just listen to “Picture of Love” or “Masquerade” for proof.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Saturday 22 April 2006 at 9:03 pm

Wilco @ Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ [4/21/06]

So last night’s Wilco show demonstrated a few things to me:

First: In the two years since A Ghost is Born, the band has not written a whole lot of new songs. Or, if they have, they don’t particularly care for them. I’m leaning towards the former. I’m not blaming them — they did a ton of touring behind that album, and since that time Jeff and/or Glen have been involved with new Loose Fur, Minus 5 and Golden Smog discs, Glen put out a solo album, and Jeff did his own solo tour.

But there’s simply no getting around the fact that, with the exception of one or two songs, they’re playing the exact same set of music in 2006 that they’ve been playing for years. (Yes, they’re still playing “Kingpin.”) Maybe it’s just that I’ve been fortunate enough to see them a lot of times during this period, but it’s starting to feel a little… by the numbers. Even without new songs, couldn’t they at least have gone back and added in “Outtasite (Outta Mind)”, “I Got You (At the End of the Century)”, “ELT”, “Nothing’severgonnastantinmyway (Again)”, or anything off of A.M.? As my friend Matt pointed out, this band has a huge catalog of originals and covers to pull from. Why keep playing the same 15-20 songs?

Second: This is the strongest Wilco lineup ever, musically. I think we all realized this on the last tour, but what I learned last night was that this band can sound spectacular, and near-perfect, even when they’re mailing it in.

And, yes, 60% of last night’s show was mailed in. It wasn’t until 2/3 of the way through the main set, when the band played “Spiders” (or was it “At Least That’s What You Said”?), that the band really seemed to wake up and start playing with some excitement. Once they did, they were unstoppable. But for a while there, I wasn’t sure whether the band wanted to be there, and I wasn’t sure I did either.

[Maybe it was just that no one wanted to be in New Jersey. I know I didn’t. ;^)]

Third: Speaking of New Jersey, I realized last night that serious bands shouldn’t play there. Twice in the last couple of weeks I’ve attempted, without real success, to articulate my biggest gripe about the current “indie rock” music scene. I call it the Invasion of the Party People. You know these people. It’s 80% of a Bruce Springsteen crowd. It’s 90% of a U2 crowd. It’s 95% of a Billy Joel crowd. It’s 100% of a Bon Jovi, Jimmy Buffett or Lynyrd Skynyrd crowd. It’s the people who view concert-going as a 3 or 4 time a year, get-your-beer-beer-on-and-PAR-TAY! kind of thing. In other words, indie rock shows have become places to be seen and to get drunk.

This scourge is happening all over the place, but it’s even worse when a band decides to do a show in the heart of darkness itself (New Jersey). That’s when you get idiots like the dude behind me and my friends who wouldn’t stop yelling “Wilco and Jersey — Perfect Together!” Or the 19 year-old girls to my right who literally screeched every time the band played a song they recognized. Or the dude who pissed Jeff Tweedy off so much that Tweedy stopped the show and, in a “I’m pretending to be joking” kind of way, told the guy to go to hell.

Not that every indie show should be full of toe-tapping, arms-crossed record store clerks. That’s not fair to the band, who want excitement from the crowd, and who themselves often feed off of that excitement. But there’s a difference between an excited, enthusiastic crowd and the Party People. A big one.

Fourth: Despite all of my bitching, they’re still one of my favorite bands of all time.

Onto the pictures:




If you want to see more photos (good, bad and somewhere in between) from this show or any other I’ve attended recently, I’ve added a link on the left-hand side to my public Flickr account. Feel free to check it out!

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Saturday 22 April 2006 at 12:31 pm

T.G.I.W.

Thank god it’s Wilco day! And thank god tonight’s the last show I have for a few days, because I’m totally dragging ass after last night’s Bob Pollard show. [Unless, of course, I end up going to see Islands at Avalon tomorrow.] I totally forgot what it felt like to wake up after a GBV show where I drank 10 or more beers at a show. Rough, to say the least.

On the bright side, there’s a bunch of good stuff floating around the web today, so I can just point you in the right direction, put my head down and go to sleep.

I Am Fuel, You Are Friends has a bevy of unreleased Ray LaMontagne stuff to be found here. I like Ray a lot, even though I have this terrible feeling that he’s going to get Norah Jones/AOR huge with his next album. Hell, GQ recently listed a Ray LaMontagne show as one of the 25 most romantic places in the world. Dumb, I know, but a sign that Ray won’t be “indie” for much longer.

Who knew — Stereogum is a really funny guy. From his post today about Guns n’ Roses:

For music-minded New Yorkers, there are plenty of other ways you can relive 1993 on GN’R’s opening night:

Glen Phillips (Of Toad The Wet Sprocket) @ The Canal Room
Ice Cube @ B.B. King’s Blues Club
Jon Auer (Of The Posies) @ Mercury Lounge

And that new Jon Auer album is terrific. Never once did he consider hiring KFC bucket-wearing guitarist.

Funny stuff. The idea of Jon wearing a KFC hat is even better.

Two cool videos floating around today:

Okkervil River, “Ends With A Fall” (from Down The River of Golden Dreams] (via Chromewaves)

Calexico, “Cruel” (via indieblogheaven.typepad.com)

And two really nice songs over at You Ain’t No Picasso:

Headlights, “Put Us Back Together”

Look Look, “Skipping Stones”

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Friday 21 April 2006 at 11:07 am

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